The top male and female STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® athletes returned to German Fest this weekend for the first time since 2019 and gave the rabid fans plenty to cheer about. When the sawdust settled and the axe-tion was complete, two new champions were crowned, and two world records were broken. Martha King chopped her way back to the top, while Jason Lentz maintained his perfect 2023 U.S. STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® season.
King Reigns Supreme, Becoming a Three-Time TIMBERSPORTS® Queen
Starting off the competition Friday evening was the U.S. Women’s Championship, featuring the top 12 U.S. lumberjills. Edging out her competitors in a closely fought battle to become the first woman with three U.S. Championships was Martha King of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, marking a personal best in the competition in the Standing Block Chop and Underhand Chop disciplines with times of 30.99 seconds and 31.97 seconds, respectively. King needed a second-place finish or better in the Standing Block Chop, the last event of the evening, to secure the win.
Although King’s personal best in the Standing Block Chop helped her on her way to the win, fellow competitor Samantha Graves of Victor, New York, narrowly sliced King’s time to help cement her place in the record books with a new world record set of 30.02 seconds.
Rounding out the podium were Hanna Quigley of Honeoye Falls, New York, and Emily Brown of Lacona, New York. This was Quigley’s third year competing and an improvement from her third-place finish last year, while Brown made her first podium finish as a professional.
For King, the energy from the big stage and big crowd fueled her. “I just feel so powerful and on fire when I’m up here,” said King. “I gave it my all today.”
Clean U.S. STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Season Sweep for Lentz
2023 is a U.S. STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® season to remember for Diana, West Virginia native, Jason Lentz, as he took home another gold medal, his second of the year after winning the U.S. Trophy event in May. Lentz had personal bests during the 2023 U.S. Men’s Championship in the Underhand Chop and Stock Saw, with times of 16.85 seconds and 10.90 seconds, respectively. Every second mattered, with arguably one of the deepest fields of athletes in years. Lentz made three clutch cuts in the Hot Saw to secure the second U.S. Championship win of his career.
“The goal was to come out here and win and that’s what we accomplished,” Lentz said after his steady performance on Sunday. “It’s really awesome to have a hell of a pit crew that has my back.”
The podium for the U.S. Championship on Sunday mirrored that of the U.S. Trophy. Matt Cogar of Grafton, West Virginia, placed second and Nate Hodges of North Folk, California, placed third, with Cogar notching season’s best times in Standing Block Chop (11.98) and Hot Saw (4.84), as well as a personal best time of 38.78 seconds in Springboard, while Hodges recorded season’s best times in Underhand Chop (17.12), Springboard (41.26) and Hot Saw (5.26).
The unforgettable weekend closed with another world record being set, this time by the men. Veteran Walt Page, of Tollhouse, California, set the world record in Springboard with a blistering time of 35.43 seconds. The previous record of 35.67 seconds, set back in 2016, was held by Stirling Hart of Canada.
Sights Set on Germany
Jason Lentz will travel to Stuttgart, Germany, on November 4 to battle the top lumberjack athletes from around the world at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Individual World Championship. Lentz won the Individual World Championship in Germany back in 2021 and has his sights set on taking another gold home in 2023.